6 Hours of Gibraltar - July 9th, 2016
During the hurricane winds of last Sunday, I had the chance to pre-ride the 6 hours of Gibraltar course with a little instruction from a local MTB legend. This race is now in its fourth year and it has become without a doubt the highlight of the season for most locals that shred the trails in the 3 Stage area. The past two summers I have been away from the area during the event, so this year is the first time I will partake in the festivities. Anyone who knows me will be surprised to hear that I'm jumping on a mountain bike, but I must admit, I had a blast on the course last weekend. It was fast, with a ton of corners, a few little climbs and plenty of speedy descents. Just as you get into your groove, a small rock garden is thrown in just to add a little excitement and slow you down for a second or two. The course is great for all abilities and I’m really looking forward to the event on July 9th.
The event is open to everyone and has a 4 person category, a 6-8 corporate team division or if you are brave enough, a solo category. Last year the event raised $140,000 for the local My Friends House charity. My Friend's House is a non-profit organization providing emergency shelter and counseling services to abused women and their children escaping violence in their personal relationships.
Day time running lights
Over the winter there has been a lot of talk on the interwebs and bike forums about day time running lights (DTRL’s) on bicycles. I remember reading an article (which I can't find anywhere now) about a group of roadies in California who have started riding with DTRL’s to increase their visibility during the normal hours of the day. Its funny, I believe most people won't use DTRL's because they actually think it's “uncool” or they are afraid of being the only rider in the bunch with lights on during the day. As cyclists we need to change the way we think and have a better understanding on how drivers see us on the road.
For the most part, this year i have been riding with front and rear DTRL’s. It doesn’t matter if it is sunny and bright, I use them if I have them. According to a little research I conducted, motor cycle collisions were decreased by 26% when DTRL’s were used. So where does that leave us vulnerable cyclists? I’m actually beginning to think people are crazy for not using them, DTRL's make you more visible on the road any time of the day. In Ontario, the law requires us to have a white front light and a red rear light or reflector if you ride between a half hour before sunset and a half hour after sunrise. The law does not speak to DTRL's. I believe that as a cyclist, it's in our best interest to do everything within our power to be seen on the road. DTRL’s are the way of the future for road cycling, time to give it a chance. Check out your local bike shop and get fitted with some new lights. Quick tips- spend money on lights, they are expensive but may save your life. Don't buy small ones, they are typically useless and can't be seen. Make sure they are rechargeable so you can plug them in after every ride. In fact, it doesn't hurt to have two sets, that way one can always be charged and ready to go.
Rockie Mountain Demo Day - 3 Stage Saturday June 18th, 10am-3pm
Looking to demo a new bike for the 6 hours of Gibraltar? Squire John's is hosting a Rocky Mountain Demo Day tomorrow at 3 Stage between 10am-3pm. Test ride the latest bikes with new school handling and geometry from Rock Mountain.
Where not to ride this weekend
There is some construction going on this weekend the you may wish to avoid. Grey Road 119 from Banks to Ravenna is closed for surface modifications. The County of Grey has also started a bit of construction on Grey Road 31 east of Rob Roy (portion of the local ride called the Newman Loop). There are a few ridable gravel sections, but you may just want to avoid this area all together.
Last weekend was really a disaster for any great road riding here in Southern Georgian Bay. The high winds really put a damper on all the excitement for riding. This weekend looks like it could be the best one yet of 2016, both Saturday and Sunday will have temperatures in the high twenties with very low winds out of the west and north west. This may be the time to break out the sun sleeves and sunblock, its going to be a hot weekend! Pack lots of fluids and be sure to stop at all those cafes along the way to refuel!
Hope to see you on the road!